I woke to a clear windy sky, but much colder temps today. The weather service is predicting freezing temperatures the next few days. Since I am not boondocking, Jagger and I will be very toasty during the cold nights. I have my fireplace (5,000 BTU) that will comfortably keep the Coach warm, plus the forced air furnace (35,000 BTU), which I try not to use as much. Also I have a small space electric heater in the bathroom area.

Solar Power

If I were boondocking, my forced air heating would still work using my solar power, but it would soon deplete the batteries if the weather were heavily overcast or raining. My solar package is a Zamp portable 120 watt “suitcase” package. It wasn’t the cheapest way to go, but after researching, that is what I chose. I will discuss this in another blog post soon.

Portable Heater

As a back up I purchased a portable propane Mr Heater Buddy over a year ago and have used it many times. I usually don’t use the propane heater at night, even though they advertise that it’s safe (leaving a window or vent open slightly for fresh air). Mr Heater advertises: “Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels”. Of course the Coach is also equipped with carbon monoxide, smoke and propane sensors with alarms. Which I test and replace the batteries every 6 months.

Freezing Temps

I believe all of Grand Designs product lines are built with an enclosed and heated basement. This is considered a “four seasons” unit, which uses the forced air furnace ducts to heat the basement.  When the temps fall into the freezing range I need to insure the furnace is on during the night. As I stated in a previous blog post, I set my heater at 60 degrees, the lowest my thermostat can be set.

  • If Jagger and I were camping short term in the snow, I would fill my freshwater tank in the basement, then disconnect the fresh water hose and the sewer lines, stowing them.
  • I don’t plan on long term camping in freezing temps it would require another strategy. I would wrap my hoses using “Valve and Pipe Heating Cable” for my fresh water and sewer lines to keep them from freezing, leaving them connected.
  • Entire season camping, I would purchase some skirting for my Coach to seal in the area under it. Make some insulated panels out of bubble wrap material for the windows. Also make arrangements with a propane supplier to drop a larger propane tank to connect to the Coach. One last item would be to use an alternate source to keep the basement heated when the forced air is not in use.

Note Fireplace Below the TV


When shopping for my Coach, I found that many models had fireplaces. I thought there is no way I will need or use a fireplace, but I was wrong. Not only does it keep the living area comfortable in cold weather, it’s very relaxing to have on while lounging around having that morning cup while looking at the cold weather through my Coach’s windows.